- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - No. 5 AUBURN (2-0) at No. 20 KANSAS STATE (2-0), 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Line: Auburn by 9.

Series Record: Auburn leads 3-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Unbeaten records and plenty of momentum. In the brave new world of college football playoff committees, a marque non-conference win could go a long way in December, especially considering the Tigers and Wildcats still have to face the thick of brutal conference schedules.

KEY MATCHUP

Malzahn vs. Snyder. The most intriguing battle won’t be between any position group, or even between Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall and Kansas State counterpart Jake Waters. No, keep an eye on the chess match between Tigers coach Gus Malzahn, one of the brightest minds of his generation, and the Wildcats’ Bill Snyder, widely considered one of the best in college football history.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Auburn: WR Sammie Coates has been hobbled by a knee injury, preventing him from playing much against San Jose State a couple of weeks ago. But he’s expected to be close to full speed against Kansas State, giving the Tigers a big, physical deep threat.

Kansas State: Waters is one of the most accurate passers in the country, but he also proved two weeks ago at Iowa State that he can run. He piled up 138 yards and two TDs on the ground.

FACTS & FIGURES

Auburn will be without S Jermaine Whitehead, who was suspended for violating team rules. … The first game in the home-and-home series was played in 2007, when Ron Prince was coaching Kansas State. Auburn won 23-13. … The game is sold out, the 15th straight at Kansas State. … This is the Tigers’ first non-conference road game against a ranked opponent since Southern Cal in 2002. … Auburn has not won a non-conference road game since beating Virginia in 1997. It has not beaten a ranked team on the road since Florida State in 1984. … Auburn has at least 200 yards rushing in a nation-leading 13 straight games. … The Tigers are among five teams averaging 300 yards rushing and 200 yards passing. … Kansas State has not faced a top-five non-conference opponent at home since Penn State in 1969. … The last ranked non-conference opponent to play at Kansas State was Southern Cal in 2002. The Wildcats won 27-20. … Waters’ career pass efficiency rating of 153.4 is the best in Kansas State history. … Wildcats WR Tyler Lockett needs 61 yards receiving to pass his uncle, Aaron Lockett (2,400), for fourth-most in school history. … Kansas State has scored 91 non-offensive touchdowns since 1999, the most in the nation.

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